Zero emission and smooth: this is the best way to describe the new offer from the Rheinisch-Bergischen District, the city of Cologne and the operator Regionalverkehr Köln (RVK).
The bus line 423 will be extended to the Cologne-Bonn airport. This will increase the number of passengers using public transport to reach the airport, thus saving emissions from passenger cars use. This advantage is even more magnified as the buses used on the line 423 are fuel cell electric buses. They are ideal for regional operation: they offer a range of over 350 kms and can be refuelled quickly. The only local “emission” of these vehicles is water vapour.
The first fuel cell bus of line 423 was officially launched on 6th January 2020.
The Head of the district Rheinisch-Bergischen, Mr Stephan Santelmann, inaugurated the line along with the CEO of RVK, Mr Eugen Puderbach. They were then joined by Ms Andrea Blome, deputy for mobility and infrastructure in the city of Cologne. She said: “Our citizens living in the Eastern part of Cologne will now be able to reach the airport in 13 minutes. This will represent an attractive alternative to the use of private cars. With the improvement of the public transport offer, we deliver a crucial contribution to make our city more sustainable” .
The board of RVK supported the project “Null Emission” (Zero emission) from the start. RVK-CEO Eugen Puderbach explained: “we started nearly 10 years ago to develop and test alternative technologies.” If we had not deployed our first vehicles back in 2011 via our project „Null Emission“ we would not be there today! From now on five fuel cell buses will be put in operation and more fuel cell buses will follow suit. “
Mr Johan Vanneste, CEO of the Cologne-Bon airport company, praised the project in his opening speech: “at the Cologne-Bonn airport, we have a high interest in the development of innovation and sustainability. We opened the first public hydrogen refuelling station of Cologne at the airport in 2017. We are even more delighted with the new connection established with the fuel cell buses of RVK, that will benefit to all partners. On one hand, the airport is better connected with the district of Rheinisch-Bergischen – which is a real game changer for passengers from Bergisch Gladbach and the surroundings. On the other hand RVK, as operator of the bus line, will be able to easily refuel the buses at the station. This is a win-win situation, a real sustainability signal!”
The full press release is available here (in German):
Picture: from left to right: Mr Raziner Deppe, meneger of regional Parliament (Landtag), Mr Stephan Santelmann, Head of the district Rheinisch-Bergischen, Rheinisch-Bergischen; Ms Andrea Blome, deputy for mobility and infrastructure in the city of Cologne. RVK-CEO Eugen Puderbach